Snowplow drivers were recognized statewide on Monday as part of an official proclamation by Governor Scott Walker. When the snow falls, snowplow drivers clear 100,000 miles of roadways in the state so that residents can make it to their school, work, medical service, and more.
The City of Marshfield Street Division is responsible for plowing over 307 lane miles of streets, 6.78 miles of paved alleys, 6.32 miles of unpaved alleys, 83 cul du sacs and 13 public parking lots.
“Snowplow drivers are assigned equipment and snow plow routes each year that they familiarize themselves with before the winter season,” said Dean Schiller, Street Superintendent. “Also, each year before the winter season starts, Street Division employees go through the equipment and do routine inspection, maintenance, and repair of equipment utilized in snow removal operations.”
A big challenge every year is keeping safe when people follow too close to the snowplow, especially at intersections where snowplow drivers may need to back up several times. Drivers are asked to stay back at least 200 feet.
Through the end of April, city parking restrictions state that vehicles may not be parked on city streets or certain areas of city parking lots between the hours of 2:30 a.m and 6:00 a.m. This measure allows snowplows to more effectively clear snow from the roads.
At local business Solutionz, snowplow drivers put in long hours to clear out parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways in Marshfield and surrounding communities.
“It’s 24 hours deal,” said Travis Hill, Owner/General Manager. “Once the snow quits, we go out at midnight and do a parking lot top to bottom. We clean it out completely and have it salted.”
The company will continually plow snow as long as the snowfall lasts, using heavier equipment for wetter snow and conducting repairs as needed.
For safe winter traveling, the Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department has a few tips to share:
1. Remain weather aware- have a source of weather information and plan accordingly.
2. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you become stranded: blankets, flashlight, shovel, etc.
3. When traveling, make sure someone knows your route and when you expect to arrive. This may help you be located if you become stranded.
4. When roads are slippery, reduce speeds and allow extra time to get to your destination.
5. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Stopping may be more difficult on slippery roads.
6. When you get behind a snowplow, stay back a safe distance. Make sure you can see the snowplow’s mirrors. If you can’t see the mirrors, the operator most likely cannot see you.